Ancient Monuments

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Moated site 90m north west of Moat House

A Scheduled Monument in Colne, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.3659 / 52°21'57"N

Longitude: 0.0106 / 0°0'38"E

OS Eastings: 536994.4022

OS Northings: 276105.87108

OS Grid: TL369761

Mapcode National: GBR K3W.PHQ

Mapcode Global: VHHJ8.4SGP

Entry Name: Moated site 90m north west of Moat House

Scheduled Date: 24 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019564

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33271

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Colne

Built-Up Area: Bluntisham

Traditional County: Huntingdonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Colne

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes a medieval moated site situated 90m north west of Moat
House and 230m to the NNW of the parish church of Colne.
The moated site includes a roughly square island measuring approximately 40m
north west-south east by up to 42m north east-south west, which is raised by
about 0.5m above the surrounding ground surface. The island is contained by a
seasonally water-filled moat which measures up to 18m wide and between 1.5m
and 2m deep. Access to the island is via a wooden bridge across the north
west arm of the moat.
The moated site is traditionally believed to represent the site of the manor
of Colne, also known as Colnes Dunholts and Drury's manor, which was held by
the de Colne family in the 12th, 13th and into the 14th centuries. It then
passed through marriage into the Dunholt family who held it until 1546. The
manor came into the ownership of the Drury family in the early 17th century
and continued in their possession until the mid-18th century. A house which
formerly stood on the moated site was demolished in about 1787.
The bridge across the north east arm of the moat, together with all gates and
fencing, are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these
features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches,
often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more
islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some
cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites
served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the
provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical
military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was
between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in
central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built
throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and
exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a
significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding
of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples
provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.

The moated site 90m north west of Moat House survives well. The island will
retain buried evidence for structures and other features relating to the
period of occupation. The buried silts in the base of the ditch will contain
both artefacts relating to the period of occupation and environmental evidence
for the appearance of the landscape in which the moated site was set.
Comparisons between this site and further examples, both locally and more
widely, will provide valuable insights into the development of settlement in
medieval England.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Simkins, M E, The Victoria History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume II, (1932), 167-9
Copy in SMR, Watson, K, The Medieval Kiln Site, Old Church lane, Colne 1991, (1991)
SMR 3629, Pottery kiln, Colne,

Source: Historic England

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